Van Bikeradar: The Tour de Zwift is back for 2022 with something for every type of rider

Looking for a challenge to kick-start the new year? The Tour de Zwift will return for 2022 on 10 January with more stages and routes than ever before.

The eight-stage virtual event will cover flats, mountains, tarmac and gravel in all of Zwift’s virtual worlds.

As in previous editions, there will be three variations of each stage (short, standard and long), depending on your appetite for an indoor cycling workout on any given day. Every stage will also be available to ride for a few days.

This year, however, stages will be split into shorter weekday and longer weekend rides so riders can manage work and family commitments, according to Zwift.

Weekday rides will stay closer to Zwift’s virtual cities, such as the new Neokyo world, while weekend routes will explore rural landscapes, such as Makuri Islands.

Zwift's new virtual routes in Neokyo lead riders along railway lines

You can check out some of Zwift’s new routes in this multi-stage event.

Something for everyone

The 2022 Tour de Zwift will start with fast and flat routes before climbing into the mountains on stage two.

Zwifters will have the choice of Alpe du Zwift or Innsbruck’s fiendishly hard 2018 UCI World Championships road race course.

Next up, stage three – dubbed ‘Round and Round’ – lives up to its name by sending riders on rolling circuits of Makuri Islands or flatter laps of New York’s 6 Train.

Your avatar will need a gravel or mountain bike for stage four. All riders will be welcomed to Zwift’s jungle and dirt tracks in Watopia and Makuri Islands.

Tour de Zwift 2022

Bike bags and cargo bib shorts are optional on the gravel stage.

Stage five rejoins the virtual tarmac in Richmond, London or Paris, depending on your chosen category. The European capitals are flat, but the 2015 UCI worlds course in Richmond is rolling.

You’ll need your best Zwift setup to pass the endurance test of stage six. The shorter ride in Douce France is still 24km, while the category A ride covers 56km of the London Pretzel.

Again, the ‘Escalator’ stage seven looks suitably named. A loop of ‘Castle to Castle’ in Makuri Islands packs 305m of climbing into 23km. The longer route around Yorkshire’s Royal Pump Room is even lumpier.

Last of all, ‘Big City Champs’ gives longer route riders a preview of the 2022 UCI Esports Worlds course in New York. The shorter options go around the same city’s ‘Knickerbocker’ route.

The Tour de Zwift is also available for runners, with each stage offering two route options.

Tour de Zwift 2022

Canny riders will virtually ‘draft’ on the fast, final stage.

Stage 1: Flat is Fast, 10-13 January

  • Longer ride: France, RGV 49km/214m elevation
  • Standard ride/Women only: Watopia, Watopia Waistband 27.9km/95m elevation

  • Shorter ride: Makuri Islands, Two Village Loop 12.8km/88m elevation

Stage 2: Mountain Madness, 14-16 January

  • Longer ride: Watopia, Tour of Fire and Ice 28.2km/1,164m elevation

  • Standard ride/Women only: Innsbruck, Innsbruck UCI World Course 23.6km/487m

  • Shorter ride: London, London Loop 15.4km/220m elevation

Stage 3: Round & Round, 17-20 January

  • Longer ride: Makuri Islands, Farmlands Loop (five laps) 39.2km/285m elevation

  • Standard ride/Women only: New York, the 6 Train (four laps) 26.2km/244m elevation

  • Shorter ride: Makuri Islands, Neokyo Crit Course (three laps) 11.7km/62m

Stage 4: Let’s Get Dirty, 21-23 January

  • Longer ride: Watopia, Serpentine 8 26.8km/206m

  • Standard ride/Women only: Makuri Islands, Chain Chomper 16km/184m elevation

  • Shorter ride: Watopia, Jungle Circuit 13.6km/82m elevation

Stage 5: Urban Delight, 24-27 January

  • Longer ride: Richmond, 2015 UCI Worlds Course (two laps) 33.1km/284m elevation

  • Standard ride/Women only: London, Greater London Flat (two laps) 29.1km/90m elevation

  • Shorter ride: Paris, Champs-Élysées (two laps) 16.4km/78m elevation

Stage 6: Go Long, 28-30 January

  • Longer ride: London, London Pretzel 56.2km/284m elevation

  • Standard ride/Women only: Watopia, Out and Back Again 42.3km/303m elevation

  • Shorter ride: France, Douce France 24.1km/108m elevation

Stage 7: Escalator, 31 January – 3 February

  • Longer ride: Yorkshire, Royal Pump Room 8 27.7km/490m elevation

  • Standard ride/Women only: Makuri Islands, Castle to Castle 23km/305m elevation

  • Shorter ride: Watopia, Hilly Route Reverse 9.4km/93m elevation

Stage 8: Big City Champs, 4-6 February

  • Longer ride: New York, 2022 UCI World Champs Course 54.9km/944m elevation

  • Standard ride/Women only: New York, Knickerbocker 22.9km/364m elevation

  • Shorter ride: New York, Knickerbocker (end at KOM) 9.9km/213m elevation

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